September 5, 2008

Five-star cornerback makes it official

It has all come full circle for five-star cornerback Darius Winston.

Back in February, the lock-down defender out of West Helena (Ark.) Central committed to his home-state program of Arkansas to the delight of Razorback fans everywhere. Since then, he has decommitted to take an honest look at all of the options that have been showered upon him. On Friday, Winston recommitted to Arkansas after taking a hard look at Ole Miss.

"I'm committing to Arkansas," Winston said. "What made me decommit was that I wanted to make sure I picked the right school. I was very close to picking Ole Miss but it came down to where do I think I can reach my full potential and I think I can do that under Coach Ward at Arkansas."

The reputation of defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward was the factor that seemed to stick out most for the 6-foot-0, 180 pound cornerback. Winston has put his confidence in Ward to prepare him for success in the defensive secondary.

"He's had a lot of great DBs in the past and I feel like I can be one of them," said the cornerback. "I just believe that he is going to give me the best opportunity to be successful."

The decision to choose Arkansas was not an easy one for Winston. Just last weekend, Winston enjoyed a terrific trip to the Ole Miss campus for an official visit where he was in awe of The Grove and the entire football program, particularly the coaching staff.

"It was a real close decision," he said. "I have a great relationship with that coaching staff at Ole Miss and I would love to be a part of that program but I have a great relationship with the Arkansas staff too and I have a great relationship with Coach Ward and Arkansas is my home state program."

Arkansas fans have been down this road before with Winston, but the senior is confident that there this decision will be his final one.

I'll probably take one more official visit to Arkansas and that will be it. I don't think I'll be taking any other visits."

Friday is a big day for Winston for more reasons than his commitment to Arkansas. Now that that commitment is behind him, he can focus on his senior season which kicks off in just a matter of hours against the traditional power of Pulaski Academy.

"I just plan on leaving it all on the field and giving it all I've got and just pulling out the win," he said.

That is an attitude Arkansas coaches and fans can look forward to for years to come.

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